Knuckle

2011

Biography / Documentary / Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 93%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 2960

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
June 16, 2022 at 02:56 PM

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720p.WEB
887.4 MB
1280*722
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain 8 / 10

Knuckle (2011)

Like many great documentaries, Knuckle was born out of something else. It originally began as a wedding video. Ian Palmer found something so interesting about his guests, he ventured further and discovered the world of Irish travelling bare knuckle boxing. Most specifically he follows the feud between two clans of the same family, The McDonaghs and the Joyces. So after that wedding video, Palmer ended up documenting this feud and these fights for 12 years. This extraordinary amount of time puts the whole thing into perspective about the needlessness and absurdity of violence. Many say the feud goes back 50 years, and yet nobody gives a straight answer as to its origins. People hold grudges and plan rematches 9 years down the line. It becomes obvious that fighting has become an addiction and a way of life for these poor men. They have nothing else to do. When we see the acclaim they receive from their families, it's easy to see why they have been so taken in by aggression. In the first fight James McDonagh says it will be his last, but it's far from it. He seems genuine about his wanting to quit, but he always ends up in another fight. Even the director talks about how he continued filming just for the thrill, and had lost sight of his documentary. Every fight is brutal in that realistic sense, and Palmer clearly paints a vivid picture of this strange world. Aggressive men, but loving husbands and fathers. Fights that are fought for lack of reason, but are controlled and fair with a sense of honour. Knuckle is the kind of film that lures you in with basic blood lust, but gives you a whole lot more.

Reviewed by john-penfold 8 / 10

The story behind the videos

Like many people, I watched numerous fights between Travellers on Youtube. I never really understood what motivated two men to stand in an old, mucky lane - and throw down until both were bloody and bruised. 'Knuckle' provides the back-story to why all of these fights went down.

It begins in 1997 when the director is asked to film a wedding for a then 18 year old, Michael Quinn McDonagh. The footage for the documentary spans over a decade up to 2009, documenting a cross-family feud between the Quinn McDonaghs and the Joyces. Both the Quinn McDonaghs, and Joyces are related. But this does not stop the ensuing battle that would rage on between the families up to present day.

Both families create video tapes, to taunt the opposing family and 'send for' a representative to fight. The fights are documented, some ending in violent fashion, while others ending in a mutual agreement for a draw.

The first documented fight shows James Quinn of the Quinn McDonaghs and Paddy Joyce, throw down in a quiet country lane. The fight is short, but brutal. Although it is violent, both fighters fight under fair rules - which ensures that no head-butting, biting or kicking is allowed - and when a man is defeated, the fight is over.

This would set the stage for the rest of the documentary. The film is fresh, and shows an often unseen side of the Irish Traveller community. Big money is often up for grabs, one fight alone has a purse of £120,000 - larger than the purses of many of today's professional boxers.

Anyone who has seen the Irish traveller fights on Youtube, and wants to get a better understanding of the story behind these fights - should watch this documentary. Credit to the director - as this is the culmination of 12 years work. I can't think of any other documentary that is shot over such a long period.

Reviewed by anjru 7 / 10

They never went for the body

Knuckle is a sad story about various factions of one family of Irish Travelers who settle decades-long animosity toward one another through bare-knuckle battles that take place in obscure areas across the Irish landscape. Modern technology plays a big role in their feud. The fights, that pit the toughest men in each of the families against one another, are filmed for immediate viewing by all competing families.

Although the battles, billed as "fair fights" with impartial referees from non-combatant families, show the fighters giving their all, win or lose, it is the insulting and disparaging commentary, captured on film after the fights by the victors' clan members that fuel the feud for years to come. There are isolated shots of women and children. One woman, in particular, spoke at length about the need for all of this to come to an end. The greatest sadness in the film is the legacy that the feuding and fighting brings to the children who are doomed to follow in their dads and uncles footsteps, if not as fighters certainly as haters. One might conclude that these feuding families found a safer way of dealing with their hostility toward one another than shooting or stabbing.

Filmed over a decade-long period from the mid-1990's to mid-2000's, viewers are offered only a glimmer of hope that things could change. But even this is marred by the reality that all it takes is a slight, an insult or a "dis" that could change things in a moment. As for the fighting itself, film-goers will see quite a few bloody battles, one with two out-of-shape grandfathers. But there is nothing to compare with professional boxing or mixed martial arts. These were pure street fights with some grabbing, gouging and biting (although all of that was cause for disqualification). As someone one who knows just enough about boxing I kept wondering, throughout all of the fights, why none of the combatants went for the body.

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